sfa vs crm
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Sales Force Automation (SFA) Vs CRM

Sales Force Automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has often been confused to be synonyms in the industry. But in reality, both have differentiating factors even though some features do align with each other. While SFA focuses on automation of sales processes in a business, CRM primarily focuses on the customer relationship and experience. SFA plays a dominant role in streamlining sales while CRM offers the ability to understand customers to enhance marketing efficiency. These software solutions are designed to optimize sales and marketing to boost the profitability of a company. Let’s dive into the definition of each term to get a better understanding of their features, purpose and functioning.


What is SFA in field sales?


Sales Force Automation software deals with technology that digitizes sales processes to enhance sales force management.  It focuses on sales behaviour, tracking field activities and communication between sales reps and prospect, existing distributor and retailers.  SFA basically automates mundane repetitive sales tasks so that the sales reps can focus on enhancing their productivity.

Sales Force Automation software/app is an excellent technology to streamline business operations especially in the FMCG and CPG industry. SFA can help sales reps in route optimization, retail execution, track product performance, task and pipeline management, update about the related schemes and offers, and get quicker solutions to field problems. Moreover, BeatRoute’s SFA provides gamification to improve engagement and help the company to fulfill business goals. 


What is CRM in field sales?


CRM refers to the technology and strategies that are formulated with the sole purpose of enhancing customer experience and customer relation with the company. In the FMCG and CPG industry, the term ‘customer’ refers to retailers and channel partners (distributors & dealers). CRM serves as an important aspect for a company’s sustainability in the market.

CRM software or apps usually monitor, track and analyze the customer interaction in order to build customer loyalty. It provides insights about the customer lifecycle and customer satisfaction. CRM is essential to maintain long-term relation with the customers by focusing on their  experience and  to enhance customer retention. However, field CRM has some more challenges than traditional CRM.

The FMCG and CPG industry requires field CRM to understand touchpoints of customers.


Sales Force Automation vs Customer Relationship Management


 SFA vs. CRM 


The terms SFA and CRM have been used interchangeably in the industry due to their similar features. Both have similar features as well as major distinguishing properties. 


  • Sales process vs. Relationship

While SFA is solely automation and management of the sales process, CRM deals with customer relations. SFA software aids the functions of sales reps to drive efficiency of sales goals. On the other hand, CRM software manages the interaction with retailers and distributors to enhance their experience and ensure retention.


  • Productivity vs. Sustainability

Sales Force Automation software’s/apps are essential to drive productivity of the sales force, whereas CRM technology focuses on sustainability and long-term customer relations. SFA includes sales force tracking and insights about performance to help the sales reps meet their sales target and thereby optimize the sales processes. On the other hand, CRM is essential to understand the customers and analyze data to strategize how to improve their satisfaction so that customers can be retained.


  • Sales behavior vs. Customer behavior

SFA takes into account sales behavior through sales force tracking and performance analysis whereas CRM takes into account the change in customer behavior enhances their experience. While analysis of sales behavior provides insights about the efficiency of the sales force, analysis of customer behavior provides insights about the changing market demands.


  • Sales Perspective vs. Customer Perspective

The SFA app or software are handled by managers and sales reps. Therefore, every data entered into the system is from the perspective of sales. On the other hand, the data inputs in the CRM system is done by both sales reps and customers i.e, retailers and distributors. Therefore, CRM technology accounts for the sales as well as customer perspective. 

SFA and CRM are both integral aspects for optimizing business growth and efficiency. Using a software that integrates both the systems enables the company to unify data of sales reps and customers in a single platform, streamline sales management and thereby attain all-inclusive insight about sales and market.


BeatRoute as SFA+CRM Solution


BeatRoute is the deadly combination of sales force automation(SFA) and customer relation management(CRM) to drive productivity, efficiency as well as sustainability. With the basic functions of SFA software, BeatRoute also provides the following features tending to the nuances of FMCG & CPG industry.

  • Goal-Driven sales approach: Every Sales reps can perform specific goals (range selling, VM execution, scheme/offer implementation etc.) in-turns fulfil companies sales goals on ground
  • Gamification: Excellent way to enhance employee engagement and tend to their learning needs digitally
  • WhatsApp BOT: Retailers can directly order using WhatsApp
  • CuesBOT: AI Analyzes data and provides insights of any problem that may arise to field managers

With the basic functions of CRM software integrated with SFA, BeatRoute adds more value to an organization by the following functions:


  • Customer Profiling: Provides information about customer communication, behavior, purchasing history.
  • Lead Management: Zero drop lead management plus post-conversion relationship management
  • Data Security: Secure encryption helps company to negate the risks and penalties for consumer data leakage
  • Report and Analysis: Data recorded from customers helps to detect change in consumer behavior, understand the emerging market trends and provides other important insights about the market.


SFA and CRM both have essential roles in the FMCG and CPG industry. BeatRoute offers a wide range of business functions that undertake automation of sales processes as well as improves relation with the retailers and distributors. The user friendly interface of BeatRoute makes it easy to operate by sales reps, distributors and retailers. 


The Bottom Line

The digital transformation has been accelerated by the pandemic situation. The FMCG and CPG industries have begun to invest in technology for the automation of business operations and also utilizing AI for meaningful insights. BeatRoute has a goal driven approach that can drive performance efficiency. Moreover, the CRM technology integrated with SFA makes BeatRoute an unbeatable sales force automation software to optimize sales processes as well as improve customer relations. In a nutshell, BeatRoute provides one stop solution to all the needs of a retail oriented brand in General Trade, Modern Trade and B2B.


Get a Free Demo of BeatRoute Easy-to-use CRM SFA Platform


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